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Repsol Honda Team enjoy a productive final day at Valencia test
The Repsol Honda Team’s second and final day of testing at Valencia was finally completely dry. As was the case yesterday though, Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo took to the circuit around 1 pm, when air temperature and track conditions improved enough for the riders to collect valuable information for the HRC engineers to analyse.
Marc’s fastest time of 1’30.911” on lap 39 of 53 placed him third-fastest on this final day. Jorge turned 46 laps and finished in 12th place at 1’31.584” (lap 40).
Marquez and Lorenzo will take part in a two-day test in Jerez, Spain 28-29 November before the winter testing ban kicks in at the end of the month.
3rd 1’30.911 (53 laps)
“It was a good day for us, as we tried many things and got a lot of information. Today we mainly worked on the new bike and the engine setup, but not only on that. We had many things to try and to understand, as the feeling is quite different. In the morning I was really comfortable and I was already able to be fast. Then I stayed there, remained calm and kept the rhythm, because to be honest, it was a must-not-crash situation today. We tried different combinations, spending a lot of time in the garage in the morning, but I was able to make a few consistent runs in the afternoon.”
Two days of official MotoGP testing draw to a close at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit
Two days of official MotoGP testing marking the start of the 2019 championship season have come to a close at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste (Valencia).
Once again the field of riders could only go out late in the morning, after the track had completely dried out following another night of rain in Valencia.
The two factory Ducati Team riders focussed their work load on the 2019 version of the Desmosedici GP, obtaining positive feedback, and at the end of the session Andrea Dovizioso was second quickest with a time of 1’30.890, while Danilo Petrucci ended the day in fifth place with a best lap of 1’30.959.
They were joined on track by Michele Pirro, who following a crash and a worsening of the pain in his right shoulder, only completed 14 laps with a best time of 1’32.376
The MotoGP teams and riders will be back in action next week at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in southern Spain where the last two days of official testing this year are scheduled for 28 and 29 November.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd – 57 laps – 1’30.890
“Today went better than yesterday because we were able to do a lot of tests, including back-to-back ones, during which we found some interesting solutions. These were small details and now we want to try them in different conditions and on another track to get some more precise feedback. These two days of tests at Valencia have been very positive and now we will try and confirm the same sensations at Jerez.”
Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team #9) – 5th – 60 laps – 1’30.959
“I’m pleased with this second day of tests because we were able to try a lot of things and we were always pretty fast, up near the top of the timesheets. I was able to lap consistently with excellent times, even though we didn’t do many tests with different set-ups, and this means that the 2019 bike has a good base. In the end, I only missed out on a quick lap, but I’m very pleased with the way the team is working, with even more engineers helping me, and this made all the difference.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 19th – 14 laps – 1’32.376
“Today I didn’t do many laps, just 14 in total, when the track wasn’t very fast, but we still managed to do a test that gave us some very useful information. Unfortunately, the problem with my right shoulder, which has worsened since Sunday, didn’t allow me to work well and I crashed again. In ten days’ time I’ll finally be able to have an operation and then I want to turn over a new page.”
Syahrin and Oliveira make huge steps on test day two
On the second and last day of the official IRTA test in Valencia, Hafizh Syahrin and Miguel Oliveira progressed significantly aboard their KTM RC16 machines. Following a partly wet opening yesterday, both KTM Tech3 Racing riders were able to put in some more kilometres on a dry Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Syahrin, who’s just about to start his second season in the premier class, used the available track time well to get to know his new working tool better and better, which was obvious in his lap times as he went 1.225 seconds quicker than on Tuesday. Meanwhile, MotoGP rookie Oliveira approached the new category further and lowered his lap time by 1.32 seconds after 46 laps throughout his second day.
With the conclusion of this first test in preparation of 2019, the KTM Tech3 Racing crew is already on the way to Jerez de la Frontera to take part in the second official two days pre season test from next Wednesday.
Position: 22nd – Time: 1’33.008 – Laps: 43
“Overall, we had a decent test. I didn’t look at the lap time these two days, but tried to feel good on the bike, to get used to it and to understand the electronic. On the first day, until we didn’t touch anything on the bike, but this afternoon we changed some things on the front and the rear, which was positive. Later today, it was quite cold and we used the medium tyre. I had a small crash in turn 10, but I was in a good shape and had a good rhythm to understand the bike. We try to continue working hard and to understand, also for the team to learn the new electronic. I hope we have some great weather in Jerez and aim to improve with every session.”
Position: 24th – Time: 1’33.798 – Laps: 46
“Today we definitely made a step forward compared to yesterday and improved our lap time obviously. We did much more laps than yesterday and just continued to work on the bike. Toady we started to touch some areas, after we had basically the same bike throughout the day on Tuesday. Now we were able to make some changes. Because everything is new, it took the team a bit of time to make these changes and also to adapt my comments from what I wish to have from the bike, so it’s a learning curve for everyone in this particular situation. So far, it has been positive.”
Valencia (Spain), 21st November 2018
Despite having to sit out the first three hours of available track time in the pit box again, waiting for the riding conditions to improve, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team were able to complete most of their testing programme on the second day of testing at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo.
Similar to yesterday, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi both spent all their testing time getting familiar with the new engine evolution.
Following the same procedure as yesterday, Viñales made his way out on track with more than four hours on the clock. The Spaniard picked up his work on the 2019 engine spec where he had left off and, despite a small crash, proceeded to gradually better his time throughout the day. He rode a total of 57 laps and improved on his personal best from the first day by 0.659s, setting a 1’30.757s lap on his 50th try. He ended the session leading the rankings with a 0.133s advantage over his closest rival. This result puts him in first position in the combined test timesheets.
Rossi arrived at the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pit box around the same time as his teammate, heading out on track in the afternoon. The Doctor was very focused on getting his YZR-M1‘s new engine in perfect shape ahead of the 2019 season. He completed 63 laps in total and set a 1’31.371s after completing two-thirds of his testing programme, which was enough to keep him in ninth position in the rankings, 0.614s from today’s best time. The lap also earned him ninth place in the overall Valencia test results, as almost all MotoGP riders improved on their best effort on the second day
We‘ve made a very productive start to the 2019 pre-season, and we have quite a few things to be positive about. Our wish for some dry testing time was granted, though we had to wait until the afternoon on both days. Still, the hours on track allowed us to get a lot of work done. As announced during the Valencia GP weekend, Maverick and Valentino focused mainly on comparing the new engine evolution to the 2018 engine. The new engines improve the engine braking, and the acceleration is smoother. Both riders really only concentrated on comparing the engines, without touching the chassis setting. They both gave positive and similar feedback on what we tried during this test. We managed to do 60% of what we had scheduled. So far we‘re on the right path. Next up is the two-day test at Jerez that will be crucial in preparing for the 2019 season. We’re heading in the right direction, so that’s our motivation to keep working hard.
It has been a positive test. We’ve been working a lot on improving for the first lap of the race. I’m actually really happy because from the first lap I felt good grip and I could push. There’s still work to do to further improve the engine braking and the smoothness of the power, so that’s what we will work on in Jerez. It was unlucky that we couldn’t ride all day, like we had planned. We couldn’t test the engines very well, so we’re going to decide after Jerez which of the two we choose. As I said, we need to try more, to be more convinced about the engine decision, but I think we’re on the right track. We need to focus on the riding style and getting a smoother bike will be very important, especially when there’s no grip during the race, but there is an upgrade coming that will help a lot. In these last two days I only focused on the engine and didn’t touch anything concerning the setting. I think we could have improved the set-up for Valencia a lot, but I’m happy that just focusing on the engine we improved by some tenths.
We were able to improve compared to yesterday, but unfornately our opponents were able to improve more. Today was a bit more difficult. We tried a different engine and a different spec, but it was similar to the one we tried yesterday so they have more or less the same performance. For now we keep the same material, and next week we will try it again at another track, in Jerez, so there we’ll try to understand it in a better way. After that we have to wait for next year. The test in Jerez is important because in the GP there in May we weren’t very fast. We need to understand if we’re stronger now.
MOTOGP TESTS IN VALENCIA COME TO A CLOSE
APRILIA PREPARES FOR ITS 2019 SEASON WITH ESPARGARÓ, IANNONE AND SMITH
The preparatory work for the 2019 season continued today in the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini garage, busy on the second and final day of tests in Valencia.
Aleix Espargaró focused on comparing the two different engine configurations and two chassis solutions, with the goal of defining the 2019 development base. The analysis will also continue in the next tests in Jerez, where the Spanish rider will be able to put the new solutions to the test on a track with different characteristics. Aleix did his best time at 1’31.400 on lap 37 out of 55 total, good enough to earn him tenth place in the rankings.
It was the second day of work for Andrea Iannone as well who was able to carry out a series of comparative tests, lapping both with the 2018 configuration bike and the more recent evolution that the team had used in the latest races. The Italian rider continued his apprenticeship, working primarily on adapting the RS-GP to his riding characteristics. He turned 32 laps today, with a best time of 1’32.124 and two crashes without any physical consequences.
There was plenty of work for the Aprilia Racing Test Team, with two RS-GP machines entrusted to new-entry Bradley Smith. On today’s 58 laps, the English rider mainly looked for a base setup on which to then work in the next tests, testing new components and technical solutions. His best lap stopped the clock at 1’33.028.
“We did a good job in these tests. Today I tried a new frame, also continuing the tests on the new engine that I had used yesterday. The feeling was good, although I want to try everything again in Jerez, which is a rather different track than this one and more indicative. We know well which areas we need to work on and the arrival of two new riders with a lot of experience helps us to focus our priorities. This will be a very demanding winter, because these two days confirmed the level of the championship that awaits – even higher than the season that just ended if that’s possible.”
“It was nice to do several laps with the new bike and the new team today. Our goal is first and foremost to gain familiarity with the RS-GP, find a base setup that will then allow us to better assess the various technical upgrades that we’ll need to test as our experience grows. We worked a lot on the electronics and we made some slight changes to the suspension calibration, reaching a level where I am more at ease. I adapted rather quickly. I didn’t struggle too much to find a good position in the saddle and I can’t wait to get back on the track in Jerez to give the guys more information so we can prepare the 2019 bike as best as possible.”
Stefan Bradl’s stand-in duties for the LCR Honda CASTROL Team continued at Valencia on Tuesday, despite the 2018 season coming to a close on Sunday. With Cal Crutchlow still absent due to the ankle injury that will see him spend the winter regaining fitness, the German rider went through the Brit’s scheduled test programme despite tricky conditions at the Spanish venue.
A damp track delayed track time in the morning, before rain brought an early end to the day. In the intervening period Bradl worked through several new items for HRC, and was happy with the results. His lap time was an impressive fifth fastest of the day. Bradl’s test duties for LCR have now come to an end, and he will appear at the next test session in Jerez back in his more familiar role as HRC test rider.
The LCR Honda CASTROL Team would like to thank Stefan for his efforts over recent weeks, and wish him well for the future.
Stefan Bradl – 5th
(1’32.015 – lap 45 of 51)
“We had a plan that we wanted to work on, and I think that we were quick to do our set-up changes, and so we were quite successful. We went through all the test items quickly and we were able to make the most of the short time we had available to test. This was the positive thing”.
“Unfortunately, the track conditions were not ideal, but in the end once everyone got out there it was good enough. I’m happy with the way we worked because we found some interesting things which could be good for the future.”
“I would like to say thank you to LCR Honda CASTROL, they have done an excellent job for mem and I have really enjoyed the last two weekends of racing and this test.”